Gullak: TVF’s slice-of-life look at middle class India wins over viewers
‘Gullak’, The Viral Fever’s (TVF) new web-series on SonyLIV, has been winning over viewers with its endearing, slice-of-life look at the lives of middle class Indians. The Mishra family of ‘Gullak’ could be any middle class family in any mohalla of India. Frequently having silly fights, worrying over job for the elder son, renovation cost for the small house developing new cracks every day, arranging finances to buy a new scooter and also sharing a deep love that is disguised under a harsh exterior.
For a change, a middle class mohalla looks like a middle class mohalla. After the garish, loud colours and over made-up TV series, it is a welcome relief. I was somehow reminded of the good old Doordarshan days and the first daily soap it had aired – ‘Hum Log’. The Mishra family reminded me of Basesar Ram’s family of ‘Hum Log’.
Geetanjali Kulkarni plays the role of the mother (Shanti) to perfection. More spice than nice and an ever sharp tongue, she portrays the tough love of a mother to perfection.
On the other hand, Jameel Khan, who plays the role of her husband, is a calm contrast to Kulkarni. His realistic portrayal of a middle level government employee, bravely soldiering on for his family’s sake is spot on.
Older son Annu (Vaibhav Raj Gupta) and his younger brother Aman (Harsh Mayar) complete the Mishra family.
There are no major ups and downs in this family saga, nor are there any explosive reveals. The five episodes give us a peek into the lives of the Mishras, their concerns, bickering, small delights, their neighbours and how majority of the population lives in any small town in North India.
Incidentally, most of the films and series based in North India – which we have begun to see in rapid succession today – are about tales of guns, gangsters, violence, caste discriminations. Rarely do we get to see an endearing tale of the everyman’s day-to-day struggles, triumphs and just getting on with life.
In all this, a humble terracotta gullak (piggy bank) acts as the narrator – hence the name of the series, which aims to be a collector of tales and memories. The series has been written by Nikhil Vijay and directed by Amrit Raj Gupta.